Top Baseball Prospects for 2015
Now updated for 2015's Top Prospects
Scouting Book's Top Prospects list is a Combined List, a calculated summary of the overall valuations of the entire prospect universe.
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With the first pick of the 2012 Draft, Houston showed a commitment to a strong future with the surprise selection of teenage phenom Carlos Correa, a natural shortstop who impressed scouts with a superior work ethic and five solid tools. His power potential is especially intriguing for a player who looks well-suited to remain at short, though he seems aware of this: his swing gets a little long and lofty at times when he reaches for the seats. Some good coaching along with the aforementioned work ethic should fix this, of course, and as he blossoms, he'll be a cornerstone of a future Astros lineup, just what the team needs to build a competitive team in the tough AL West.
More Scouting Book Info on Carlos Correa
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The younger sibling of Seattle's Kyle, young Corey Seager is a similar infielder with bat speed that might actually be better than his big brother's. At the very least, scouts aren't taking the Seager name for granted, anymore. Corey is more likely to see action at second or third base thanks to the Dodgers' depth at shortstop, which is just fine: his body and skill set are better-suited to that sort of use anyway. He's risen swiftly through the ranks to become one of the most coveted farm assets in baseball. He should be the center of attention in 2015.
More Scouting Book Info on Corey Seager
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The Cubs farm, circa late 2014, might be the richest farm system of the last decade. A Florida prep infielder with a plus power bat and better than average speed, shortstop Addison Russell will probably grow out of the position very soon, but he'll look quite good as a third baseman, too. No matter where he plays, he's one of the best hitting prospects in this or any system, and while he might not be quite as far along as a few of the other Chicago prospects, his ceiling is of the highest order. When he arrives, it'll be with a big, sweet thump.
More Scouting Book Info on Addison Russell
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Georgia's Byron Buxton, the second overall pick of the 2012 Draft, is a speedy outfielder who might be the best overall offensive prospect in baseball today. With a natural base-stealing ability and plus speed in the outfield, he's a future star no matter how you slice it, and he's a decent bet to make a Mike Trout-sized impression on MLB in the near future. At the plate, he's a line-drive hitter with a little pop for now, but his excellent bat speed and ability to adjust portends a better future than that. Minnesota is well-known for cooking their prospects until they're well-done, and he has a scary wrist injury to come back from in 2015, so don't expect him immediately. When he does arrive, however, it should be for the long haul.
More Scouting Book Info on Byron Buxton
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The Mariners' first round pick in 2010, righthander Taijuan Walker looks like a number one starter on almost any MLB team. On the Mariners, that probably makes him a number three. (This team's pitching depth is just plain sick.)
Walker's progress took leaps and bounds forward after a step back in 2013, including some time in Safeco in which he looked more than capable of holding his own. Walker works mainly with a 94mph darting fastball that has great late movement, and when he mixes in a sometimes-effective straight change at 82mph, the fastball is nearly unhittable. His breaking pitch is a slurvy curve that isn't yet ready for regular use, but he'll have time to develop. Walker has higher upside (and higher risk) than either Hultzen or Paxton, but he's also a lot younger, and will probably take longer to realize his full potential. Still, there's not much left for him to learn: service-time concerns and workload-watching notwithstanding, there's no real reason to keep him out of the MLB rotation anymore.
More Scouting Book Info on Taijuan Walker
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Seen by many as the best pitching prospect of the 2013 draft class, Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray is a towering righthander with high-90's heat that breaks 100mph from time to time. More often, he throws it at 94 or 95 with good late movement that busts righthanded hitters. His real showcase pitch, though, is the hard slurvy slider that comes in near 90mph but drops dramatically off and away, making even good hitters look like weak-kneed noodle-slappers. If Gray has a weakness, it's his not-there-at-all changeup, a pitch he may need if he's going to handle lefthanded hitters with as much skill as he deals with righties. Regardless, he's a top flight prospect who has the stuff and maturity to handle pitching, even at Coors Field.
More Scouting Book Info on Jonathan Gray
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The younger of Baltimore's Bouncing Baby Bundies, the growly-looking Dylan is a righthander with ace upside, but he remains relatively untested against pro hitters, and under professional pressure. His ungodly 0.25 ERA and 158 strikeouts in 71 innings as a high school senior earned him honors as the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, BA's High School Player of the Year Award and USA Today's National Player of the Year. That said, he's still what we in the business like to call
a high school pitching prospect, which is a term of art meant to indicate that this category of gamble is among the riskier bets in baseball. His fastball/cutter combination is a genuine plus combo, and he's been improving his command and control while working on improving his changeup in the minors. He'll need that to succeed. The Baltimore organization has done nothing in the last few years to suggest they're not one of the very best incubators for pitching talent, so overall, we're still believers.
More Scouting Book Info on Dylan Bundy
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A high-school shortstop from Puerto Rico with a live bat and a great batting eye from both sides of the plate, Cleveland's Franky Lindor is a young and talented all-around player who shows signs of all five major league tools, though they don't always show up every day. His glove is pretty shiny, and his baserunning smarts and instincts are already several years ahead of his age bracket. As he works his way through several hundred thousand practice swings in the next two or three years, we'll find out if that bat can live up to early reports and carry his future into MLB. Right now, the signs are very good.
More Scouting Book Info on Francisco Lindor
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A nominal shortstop, Puerto Rican mini-Cub Javier Baez also looks just fine at second and third. With one of the highest overall upsides of any position player in baseball, there's really no question he'll end up an everyday MLB asset somewhere or other. His ultimate position will probably come down to some mix of organizational need and how his body develops.
That said, there's no reason to yet believe he can't stick at shortstop, thanks to a strong arm, soft hands and good feet. He hasn't yet shown the power for a corner, though, so his best route to the majors remains the middle of the diamond. He's not very widely known yet, but wait another year and Cubs fans will be clamoring for a Castro-Baez (or perhaps Baez-Castro) infield combination. They'll get one soon enough.
More Scouting Book Info on Javier Baez
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1 to 10 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013